New native gardens are popping up

During my walks around the city of South Pasadena, I frequently come across new low water-use, native plant landscapes that I have not seen before. Surprised, I ask myself, “When did this happen?” That is just what occurred a couple of weeks ago. Check out these wonderful before and after pictures that I was able to […]

What should I plant?

This is the perfect time to prepare your plant for upcoming native plant sales and fall planting! This slideshow presents garden-worthy plants from woodland, scrubland, chaparral and desert plant communities. Barbara is a South Pasadena-based native plant gardener, horticulturist, writer and blogger. Her recent book, Wild Suburbia: Learning to Garden with Native Plants, guides new […]

Garden care while you travel (Part 2)

The garden prep for our summer absence has been paying off. Yesterday my daughter took me on a virtual garden tour on Facetime. Things are looking good! The native sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are amazing, reaching 6-7 ft. tall. And the tomato plants have held up well through the heat wave with temperatures in excess of […]

Winter vegetable garden

As a follow up to the post of 2/1/16, Front yard vegetable garden, check out the photos of my winter vegetable garden below  (January through today, March 21). The lettuce has been delicious, I love having green onions that are not from Mexico, there are lots of herbs, the kale and Swiss chard are amazing, […]

Front yard vegetable garden

Our front yard makeover began on the night of November 30-December 1 of 2011. The avocado tree in the front yard was “deconstructed” by winds that roared through our area in the wee hours of the night (Cleaning up after the storm). Rather than giving up on this old avocado, we called in an arborist who removed broken limbs […]

Create your own garden paradise

Walking on a quiet street in a Los Angeles suburb, my eighty-year-old father and I approached a lovely adobe home. As we walked along, I noticed that he was slowly shaking his head as he simply stated, “It’s not for me.” I was showing him a garden in my neighborhood that I was especially fond […]

Make every drop count

The big news continues to be the ongoing drought in California, which is interesting since we rarely get any rain from April through November. Once we got half way through January we started feeling uncomfortable and things did not improve in February and March. The snow pack is at about 1% of average for this […]

Smother it

It is already March and if you have not planted your native plant garden you might want to consider putting it off until next year. Once again this rain year is turning out to be rather disappointing, and it does not look like we will be seeing noticeable amounts this spring. Although the numbers are […]

Is the rebate worth it?

My city, South Pasadena, and many others are offering rebates for converting lawns to reduced water-use landscapes. The current rebate program is scheduled to end on June 30, 2015. Clearly, lawn reduction through neglect, as described in the previous blog post, will not get you the rebate! If you are interested in pursuing it, then you […]